Two media outlet, Channels Television and Inspiration FM have been directed by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to pay 5million naira each for breaching Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
The acting Director-General of the commission, Armstrong Idachaba, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
According to the NBC’s DG, the stations violated Sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code.
On Monday, April 26, he maintained that the NBC served Channels TV a letter indicating the station’s culpability and liability for infractions of the Code in respect to its broadcast of “Politics Today” of Sunday, April 25.
He added that on May 2, in its World Report, Inspiration FM in Lagos aired a broadcast of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) with secessionist claims in breach of 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the Code.
According to Idachaba, the broadcast of Channels TV and Inspirational FM are divisive and full of inflammatory comments that are against Sections 3.11.1(b) and 5.4.3 of the code stated as follows:
“Section 3.11.1(b), the Broadcaster shall ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Section 5.4.3, in reporting conflict situations, the broadcaster shall perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.”Mr Idachaba noted that the violations of the identified sections, being a `Class A’ offence, attracts sanctions in section 15.2.1 of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides the following:
“Immediate order of suspension of broadcast services; suspension of licence and immediate shut down and seal up of transmitter, revocation of licence, seizure and forfeiture or transmitting equipment
“(In) 15.5.1: the following penalties shall apply in respect of a breach committed by the broadcaster: light, N200,000 to N500,000; heavy, N500,000 to N4,999,000; severe, N5,000,000.”
The Commission, therefore, has directed both stations (Channels TV and Inspirational FM) to pay N5 million penalty each to serve as deterrent.